chapter  16
The friars
Pages 12

The crisis provoked by the spread of heresy led to a major change in the religious life of Christendom, a change that occurred initially in southern urban Europe where the Cathars and Waldensians also found their strongest support. To put the matter simply, Catholicism found its own wandering poverty preachers. The friars, from the Latin fratres, for ‘brothers’, were religiously orthodox; their living of the apostolic life was sincere and believable; and they challenged the heretics for the admiration and loyalty of many ordinary Christians.